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Lecture 4

Sociology 2233 Lecture 4: Lesson 4

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Western University
Sociology 2233
Darren Rainhard

Thursday, September 29, 2016 Basic Sources of Demographic Data Demographic Data Sources ‣ Demography explains 2/3 of everything ‣ 1. Census • Complete enumeration 100% of the population Common in the world • Reason we do this is for Geographic Detail ‘small area’ data is very important to get — information is used for policy planning, municipal boards etc • Measures mostly ‘Demographics’ How old you are, male or female , language that you speak etc • One of Canada’s primary method to gathering data • Comes from the Latin word for assessing or taxing 2. Vital Statistics and other Administrative Records ‣ • Measure mostly ‘Demographic Events’ Like moving from one city to another 100% of most events ‣ 1 and 2 exist in most high functioning societies 3. Population Registries ‣ • Replace 1 and 2 as a single data source • We don’t really keep them in Canada • More up to date than a census • Ongoing recording as things happen Updated whenever something happens • 1 Thursday, September 29, 2016 Mostly used in parts of Europe • Mostly in Nordic Europe (like Norway) • More intrusive for people who participate (people have to record and tell the government their lives) ‣ 4. Surveys Sample based (as opposed to a census) • Pick a random group of population , use what you have learned to base something on a whole population • Lack of geographic detail, data quality issues But often move beyond basic ‘census variables’ Used to estimate demographic statistics • When a society lacks 1, 2, and 3… • Used to broaden our understand of demographic stats When a society has 1, 2 and 3 ๏ Social Research ‣ Explanation of economic and other social trends that we see ‣ These are all big cost items for the government Who Uses Demographic Data 1. Government • Mostly for the government by the government • Regional funding allotments Government needs to know how many people are there, what their characteristics and needs are in order to give the money they need for their specific cause and not mess up the cause where they give money for (like give money for stuff for kids where most of the people that live there are older) Setting political boundaries • 2 Thursday, September 29, 2016 Policy planning • • etc 2. Private Sector • Demographics and consumer patterns Targeted marketing, strategic locations etc Where the kinds of people you are targeting are likely to be Insurance and actuary • Human resources • people like Fort Murray has their eyes in demography — want to have a balance in there but its mainly men so they are always trying to figure out what their human resource needs are as an area and strategize how to fix that 3. Public Researchers Economists, Sociologists, Biologists • Demography explains 2/3 of everything ๏ Trying to inform government or private sector ๏ Sometimes just for knowledge 4. Interested Public • Normal people who are just interested In Canada almost all information that has been researched is now accessible • online or in libraries for free Demographic Data Debates Demographic data is necessary but can only get high quality data if mandatory and all ‣ who are supposed to participate do so The kinds of people who choose not to participate differ in important ways from the • kinds of people who do 3 Thursday, September 29, 2016 Some people could be really poor — vulnerable populations that people want to capture information on • Raises individual rights issues: Should I have to tell the government personal things about me? Is/should my individual data and my personal identity (be) protected? ‣ More issues: • What is done with aggregated data that I am a part of and should I have any say? Aggregate and individual data arguments are different • Who gets to decide how this information is gathered and what is gathered? • Who gets to decide who has access to what?2 In Canada (the issues) ‣ • Census and Social Surveys have almost always been mandatory On the books: potential fines/jail time for not complying to do the surveys after you have been identified or contacted, same with census In reality: nobody has ever spent time in jail and most fines have been given to people who actively interfere with data collection • Some surveys ask very detailed, highly personal questions about you family, work mental and physical health, income and wealth etc Can be uncomfortable and time consuming Aggregated data is packaged and released to the public • Private industry sometimes repackages the data together with information form private sphere to create neighbourhood or even household consumer profiles Census Fundamental Characteristics • 1. Universality Count all ‘who usually live there’ In Canada we count: 4 Thursday, September 29, 2016 ๏ Citizens ๏ Landed immigrants (Permanent Residents) ๏ Certain types of non-permanent residents ‣ Long term international student, work visa etc 2. Simultaneity • Everyone is counted at the same time ๏ Census day (late spring in Canada) 3. Defined Periodicity • Exact and constant distance between them Time distances between censuses should be identical over time ๏ Canada ‣ Quinquennial - every 5 years (exactly) ๏ US ‣ Decennial - every 10 years 4. Mandatory • Legal requirement - you have to be counted ๏ Canada: Change of policy for 2011 census ‣ Only time it was not mandatory 5. Confidential • No release of individual info ๏ Canada: Protected by the Sta
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